Pompeo says State Dept. has given initial response to Congress over documents

Aaron Schwartz

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday that the State Department has given an “initial response” to congressional Democrats over a request for documents relating to their impeachment inquiry.

“The State Department sent a letter last night to Congress, which is our initial response to the document request. We will obviously do all the things we are required to by law,” Pompeo said at a news conference while traveling in Greece, according to a transcript of his remarks.

“We’ll work through this process,” he added. “I remember once when I was on that side and we were looking for documents, I remember precisely how long it took for those documents to come across,” he continued.

“So … we’re going to beat that. We’re going to be more responsive than the Obama administration was in the years that preceded this particular Congress,” added Pompeo, who represented Kansas in the House as a Republican between 2011 and 2017.{mosads}

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, in consultation with the Oversight and Reform and Intelligence panels, subpoenaed Pompeo for the Ukraine documents last week.

A Foreign Affairs Committee official told The Hill on Saturday that Pompeo failed to meet the Friday deadline for documents sought by Democrats.

The official noted that the State Department has contacted the panels on the matter and that the committees hope the department will cooperate with the request. 

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment. 

The committees are probing President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine as part of an impeachment inquiry, with a focus on a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

On the call, which occurred while the White House was withholding military assistance to the country, Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Trump and his Republican allies have questioned whether Biden as vice president in 2016 improperly pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had investigated an energy company with ties to his son Hunter Biden. No evidence has emerged that the elder Biden acted with his son’s interests in mind, and both Bidens have denied any wrongdoing.

“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me,” Trump was quoted as saying in a rough transcript of the call that was released by the White House last week.

The committees gave Pompeo one week to produce the documents. They said in a letter to the top diplomat that a failure to do so would be considered evidence of obstruction.

Updated: 12:15 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Impeachment impeachment inquiry Joe Biden Mike Pompeo
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